The penultimate episode of Season 3 and the entire series focuses on next steps.
JJ meets Izzy’s overprotective parents for the first time, when Izzy tells him how overprotective her father, Omar, is and JJ sees him practising his punches on a dummy, he’s scared. However this fear quickly turns to anger when Izzy’s parents discover his disability and find him harmless, leaving JJ and Izzy alone in the house.
JJ and Izzy immediately see this and set out to prove them wrong by planning on having Omar find JJ in her bedroom, however they hit the obvious obstacle, the staircase leading to Izzy’s bedroom. After Izzy tries to help JJ and encourage JJ to get upstairs on his own, without success, they call Joyce for help. Joyce manages to get him upstairs, however Izzy tells them there is another snag, to get up to her bed, they have to use a ladder. Joyce later calls Brad, one of Izzy’s neighbours to help, and he gets JJ on the bed. However JJ feels embarrassed by it all, telling Izzy he feels less like a man, however Izzy doesn’t feel this way. When Omar comes home and finds JJ’s empty wheelchair at the bottom of the stairs, he comes to her bedroom and sees JJ half-naked on the bed due to an accident with his accessible pants. Omar’s struggle to be both an overprotective father but not be offensive towards JJ was sweet and hilarious. The subplot ends with Omar balancing both by expressing his anger, but reassuring JJ he’s holding onto him tight and asking JJ to let him know if he’s hurting him, as he’s carrying JJ downstairs.
Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it showed progression in JJ and Izzy’s relationship, demonstrated a problem that some people with special needs may encounter in their romantic relationships in a realistic way, and provided some great comedic moments.
Meanwhile, Maya and Melanie are invited to a reception held by the Celebral Palsy Foundation and Ray and Dylan go along with them. Logan is also with them and surprises Melanie and the crowd by singing Ave Maria to Melanie. His performance makes everyone cry and Maya jealous. She orders Dylan and Ray to get JJ to come to the reception, but he can’t, so Dylan forces Ray into a wheelchair and pretend to be JJ, which only ends in disaster. When they all leave together, Maya admits to Melanie she was jealous of Logan’s serenade to her, however Melanie tells her that she should be proud of JJ’s accomplishments.
Overall I felt that this subplot only served as a filler, it didn’t really progress the adaptive clothing line story arc, or have anything to do with anything else going on in the episode.
Meanwhile, Jimmy and Kenneth tour Long Beach Technical College, filming a video to convince JJ into accepting their offer to study there. Kenneth excitedly tells Jimmy and JJ about his college days, however when they actually enquire about Kenneth’s college days, they discover he goofed off and eventually flunked out. Earlier Jimmy asked him if he considered coming back to finish his degree and after they come back from Long Beach Tech, Jimmy tells Kenneth he thinks going back will be good for him and convinces him to enrol again.
Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it’s rare to see Jimmy and Kenneth interacting alone and it was fun to see Jimmy using his parenting skills on Kenneth.
Overall I felt this episode was lacklustre for a penultimate episode to a season.
-Maya and Jimmy bring the family laptop to school with the screen filled with Ray’s naked baby pictures to embarrass him.
-Dylan made a Ray-like clay head perfectly in art class and then punched it when Jimmy told her that JJ’s first college decision came.
-Kenneth’s ex’s dad, Marv, keeps inviting Kenneth to go hunting, rock climbing, fishing on a secluded lake early in the morning, and skydiving. In the middle of telling Jimmy this, he questions whether Marv is trying to kill him.
-Izzy’s dad called the police to schedule a domestic disturbance.
-JJ is apparently Jimmy’s favourite son.
-Joyce is apparently not a licensed physical therapist.
-Kenneth once got kicked out of class because he threw a basketball at a professor and told him to “think fast”.
-Kenneth walked out of one final because he saw a cool bird, only it turned out to be a crow.
Best one liners and interactions:
- “I could be a creep! I have a van, I tell girls I’m a director, I have a grabby thing.” “You’d be a great creep!” (JJ-Izzy)
- “I’m a DiMeo, two things drive me: love and spite.” (JJ to Izzy)
- “I could do magic.” “Ray, we want them to cry for the right reasons.” (Ray-Maya)